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Facilities and Equipment

Chemistry research is heavily reliant on modern facilities, instrumentation, and technical support personnel. The Chemistry Department at Nevada is endowed with a full complement of support services, shops, and laboratories. These facilities are managed by our Director of Laboratories.

The Chemistry Building is a modern, four-story structure located in the central campus, adjoining the Leifson Physics Building and near the engineering research complex. Custom research instruments are fabricated in our professionally staffed machine shop and a student shop is also available. Specialty glassware and high vacuum systems can be fabricated in the glass shop. Custom circuit design, construction, and instrument maintenance can be provided in the electronics shop.

Research in synthetic chemistry is heavily dependent on the most sophisticated tools for structure elucidation. The Magnetic Resonance Laboratory houses three nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers for departmental use: two Varian 400-MHz spectrometers, and a Varian Unity-Plus 500-MHz spectrometer. The 400-MHz instruments are equipped with quad nucleus probes (proton, fluorine, carbon, and phosphorus) and a 100 sample autochanger. The Varian-500 is a multi-nuclear instrument with variable temperature, double resonance, and two-dimensional capabilities, and it can also carry out C/H/P triple resonance, indirect detection, and gradient spectroscopy. Each NMR instrument is connected by Ethernet to remote data stations for off-line data processing and analysis. Our Director of Instruments maintains these instruments and provides expert assistance with more sophisticated experiments. The X-ray structure determination laboratory is equipped with a Bruker-Nonius SMART Apex CCD-based single crystal diffractometer with low temperature capabilities. This instrument is interfaced to multiple workstations for data analysis and structure visualization. Mass spectrometry can be performed using the departmental gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (a Saturn GC-MS equipped with an autoinjector), the departmental Bruker ProFlex MALDI-TOF instrument, the departmental Waters atmospheric pressure chemical ionization/photoionization/electrospray ionization (APCI/APPI/ESI) quadrupole mass spectrometer, or the high-resolution mass spectrometry center on campus, depending on one's sample needs. Transient emission and excited state lifetime studies are possible using the departmental laser spectroscopy facility which includes a diode array spectrometer and a tunable pulsed laser. The department also maintains an atomic absorption spectrometer, a routine Perkin-Elmer Spectrum 2000 FTIR with mid- and far-IR capabilities, a routine low temperature Fluoromax-3 Horiba fluorimeter, several UV-vis spectrophotometers, and a scanning tunneling microscope that are primarily used for instructional purposes. Electronic absorption, infra-red, and fluorescence spectroscopies are facilitated by several other departmental teaching spectrometers.

Computational facilities are a critically important part of chemical research. The chemistry department maintains several high performance Beowulf computer clusters. The departmental general use cluster is configured with 44 2.2-GHz AMD Opteron (64-bit) processors, 88 GB of RAM, TB RAID disk storage, and gigabit networking. Computational research groups also have their own clusters. PBS and a sophisticated scheduler handle job allocations. Available applications include Amber, Gaussian 03, Ghemical, ORCA, NWChem, Molden, Moplot, NBO, MOPAC, and GAMESS. These departmental machines, together with those in individual research groups, are connected by the departmental Ethernet to the high-speed campus fiber optic computing backbone and the Internet. The department’s computer systems are coordinated by our Computing and Networking Administrator.

Much of our most impressive and specialized instrumentation is found within the laboratories of individual research groups. Computational equipment available includes UNIX and LINUX workstations and a host of desktop microcomputers. The physical chemistry groups utilize lasers for non-linear, high-resolution, or fast spectroscopy, and for studies of molecular dynamics. Laser equipment includes pulsed high-power Nd:YAG lasers, tunable infrared and visible semiconductor lasers, high-power excimer lasers, Ar ion lasers, a copper vapor laser, and several tunable CW and pulsed dye lasers. Other state-of-the-art equipment includes high vacuum molecular beam and ion beam chambers, an ultra-high vacuum chamber for studies of surface chemistry, a variety of specialized optics and instruments for nonlinear spectroscopy and polarized laser experiments, ion and photon detectors, fast digital oscilloscopes and detection electronics, and time-of-flight, quadrupole, and magnetic mass spectrometers and an octopole ion trap. Most synthetic chemistry groups have their own Fourier transform IR spectrometers and other specialized research instruments.

The DeLaMare Library currently subscribes to about 1200 print journals and provides connection to over 19000 electronic journals. The Library, which is the physical science and engineering library on the UNR campus, houses Chemical Abstracts and provides 24-hour access via SciFinder to the full Chemical Abstracts and Registry files online. Bound journal volumes and an exhaustive collection of reference books (about 100000) are also housed there. Computer access to on-line retrieval services and databases is readily available, with assistance provided from our librarians. The online catalog provides instant information on holdings in the entire University of Nevada Library System and other libraries connected to the Internet.

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